Dominican Republic

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Facts About the Country

Location/Geography

The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with the Republic of Haiti. The country is the second largest in the Caribbean region, with a surface area of 18,704 square miles  (48,442 square kilometers). Located in the heart of the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and to the south by the Caribbean Sea.

Population

The population of the Dominican Republic is 9,980,243 (2015 Census).

Time Zone

Local time is GMT -4. It is an hour ahead of Atlantic Standard Time in the United States in the winter. Unlike the United States and Europe, the Dominican Republic does not observe daylight saving time.

Capital City

The capital of the Dominican Republic is Santo Domingo, the oldest city in the New World. Greater Santo Domingo has a population of around three million people.

Government

The Dominican Republic is a representative democracy. There are three branches of government: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Every four years the country elects its president, vice president, legislators and city government officials. President Danilo Medina and Vice President Margarita Cedeño were elected for a four-year term that began on 16 August 2012 and ends on 16 August 2016.

Language

Spanish is the official language of the Dominican Republic. However, you’ll be surprised how many hotel and tourist destination employees speak English, French, German and Italian. If you decide to venture out of the tourist areas, it is helpful to learn some basic phrases in Spanish.

Currency

The Dominican Peso (RD$) is the official currency of the Dominican Republic. You can find the peso exchange rate for several international currencies at www.bancentral.gov.do/tasas_cambio/TMC4001.PDF

Major credit cards are accepted at most tourist locations, but it is best to check in advance at small hotels, restaurants and shops.

ATMs are located in almost all of the Dominican Republic’s cities, as well as at most resorts. Large supermarkets have ATMs that are open until late.

Climate

The Dominican Republic enjoys a tropical climate all year round, with average temperatures ranging from 66° to 93° F (19° to 34° C). The coldest season is between November and April, and the hottest season is between May and October. August is the hottest month.

Tourism Statistics

5,959,347 non-resident visitors flew to the Dominican Republic in 2016. Among these visitors, 825,237 non-resident Dominicans chose to visit the country in 2016.

Most air arrivals landed at the Punta Cana airport, 52.74% of all air traffic. Santo Domingo was the second destination of arrivals with 27.57%, followed by Santiago 10.26%, Puerto Plata 6.69%, La Romana 1.59% and Samaná 0.97%.

 

In 2016, most tourists visiting the country by air came from:

United States 41.6%
Canada 15.0%
Germany 5.0%
France 4.3%
Venezuela 3.2%
United Kingdom 3.2%
Spain 3.1%
Argentina 2.7%
Puerto Rico 2.6%
Russia 2.6%
Brazil 2.4%
Colombia 1.9%
Italy 1.5%
Belgium 0.8%

 

In 2016, seaport activity was 832,916 passengers:

La Romana 357,952 passengers
Puerto Plata 349,092 passengers
Santo Domingo 77,581 passengers
Samaná 48,291 passengers

 

The Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism reports there are 737 hotels with a total of 75,030 hotel rooms in the Dominican Republic as of December 2016.